Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Types of Criminals

There are numerous types of criminals. As a matter of fact very many types of persons may be termed criminal from different types of perspectives and points of view. Under these circumstances, it is extremely desirable to classify criminals in order to make an exhaustive and scientific study of the criminals. Various scholars have made this classification from their respective standpoints and theoretical orientation. Some of the important classifications are as follows:
Lombroso’s Classification
Lombroso has made the following classification of criminals, based on traits and features of the criminals.
(1) Born Criminal-There is certain persons who take to crime without any objective provocation or crime-inducing circumstances or conditions. Besides, punishment does not deter them from repeating the crime. Such persons are to be regarded as born criminals that are they seem to inherit a mental framework or constitution which predisposes them to crime. Mostly such persons belong to the families which have adopted crime as a profession. However, with the exception of precocious sexuality, it is difficult to imagine any physical characters which man inherits and which may determine that a man will be a criminal. Therefore the idea of born criminal muse is regarded as farfetched.
(2) Casual Criminals-Some persons are not criminally disposed and do not commit crimes often; but under certain circumstances they feel the impulse to crime which is not always successfully resisted. For example, in an exclusively male or female group, a person may feel tempted to vent his restrained sexuality through homosexuality. He may avoid it but sometimes may fall prey to it. Such a person is casual criminal. The same is the case of treasurer in a bank who removes money from the treasury. The casual criminals may be further subdivided in three categories.
(A) Habitual Criminals-These persons do not inherit bad influences but in course of their lives develop some dirty habits which force them into criminality. Thus a person who takes to drink or opium may later commit criminal acts to procure these. Similarly, most of the sex offenders are habitual criminals.
(B) Criminoloid-The term criminoloid means ‘like a criminal’ or ‘having resemblance with the criminal’. From this it is clear that a criminoloid is not an original criminal but is a non-criminal who has adopted criminal activity. A criminoloid is not a born criminal; he is as a matter of fact, on the middle of the criminal-non-criminal scale. He is neither fully a criminal nor fully honest man. Such persons usually commit crime due to pressure of circumstances, and the nature of their crimes is not very grave.
(C) Pseudo Criminals-These persons are not true criminals. They have neither any inborn tendency towards crime nor are neither they under the influence of any bad crime-inducing habit nor still they like committing crime. If anything they are averse to crime. But if they still do something criminal this is on account of acute pressure of circumstances which leaves them with no choice. For example, a bank employee who somehow incurs heavy debts may remove some money from bank with the hope of replacing it soon. Similarly, a man in foreign land deprived of his mate for many months may visit a prostitute. Similarly, many army men during long wars may feel compelled to rape or commit some other sex offence.
(3) Sex Criminals-Sex criminals are those who commit outrageous sex acts or outrage the modesty of others. Such persons, under the overpowering sex impulse or the absence of self-control, commit crimes like rape, paedophilia, incest etc.
(4) Epileptic Criminals-The epileptic criminals are as a matter of fact mental patients. These persons commit crime due to mental imbalance and consequent loss of self-control over one’s impulses. Due to lack of restraint, these persons are found committing a variety of crimes from time to time.

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